For a Medieval twist to your holiday – Castle Rodenegg in Rodeneck
Here’s a foretaste
The mighty walls of Castle Rodenegg rise above the Rienz gorge, in an area located between the localities of Schabs and Mühlbach. Built for Friedrich I von Rodank in 1140, to this day it is one of the largest fortified castles in South Tyrol. In the 16th century, the castle was acquired by the family of the renowned minnesinger Oswald von Wolkenstein, who had it expanded and renovated. The castle is still in his descendants’ possession. Some of the rooms have been converted into a museum, with much of the furniture dating back to the late Renaissance period.
These frescoes are the first example of secular wall painting in the German-speaking world.
This dungeon is where local man Matthias Perger was held captive before being executed for witchcraft in the 17th century.
The castle is the private residence of the descendants of minnesinger Oswald von Wolkenstein.
Castle Rodenegg in detail
Castle Rodenegg owes part of its fame to the Iwein frescoes that decorate one of its parlours. Dating from the early 13th century but discovered only in 1972, the frescoes were inspired by Hartmann von Aue’s homonymous Arthurian novel, and represent the oldest secular wall paintings in the German-speaking area.
Hidden in the bowels of the castle is another attraction: the Lauterfresserloch (literally: “the broth-eater’s hole”), a dungeon in which Matthias Perger, a man accused of witchcraft, was imprisoned before meeting his end at the stake in the 17th century. The dungeon’s curious name comes from the fact that, apparently, Perger’s favourite food was broth, which was called Lauter in the local dialect.
Other noteworthy parts of the castle are the chapel of St. Michael, the ancient kitchen, the armoury and the draw well. Guided tours of the castle are offered Sunday to Friday at 11.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. - plus an additional tour at 4.00 p.m. in July and August. The tour lasts about one hour. Almencard card holders enjoy free admission to the castle.
Note: The castle reopens on 01.05.2023!
How to get there
Castle Rodenegg is situated between the localities of Schabs and Mühlbach, and within easy reach of the Pustertal state road. You can leave your car in the parking area opposite the Maria Himmelfahrt parish church in Vill/Rodeneck, and walk the short distance to the castle from there.